|Publication number||US7181251 B2|
|Application number||US 10/690,934|
|Publication date||Feb 20, 2007|
|Filing date||Oct 22, 2003|
|Priority date||Oct 22, 2003|
|Also published as||CN1846427A, EP1678929A2, US20050090288, US20070111750, WO2005041546A2, WO2005041546A3|
|Publication number||10690934, 690934, US 7181251 B2, US 7181251B2, US-B2-7181251, US7181251 B2, US7181251B2|
|Inventors||Josef Stöhr, Thomas Franke|
|Original Assignee||Nokia Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (30), Classifications (16), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to mobile communication terminals comprising a user interface with a display and a keypad for supporting various functions and in particular facilitating user interaction with different functionalities associated with mobile communication terminals.
2. Brief Description of Related Developments
Mobile communication terminals such as mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDA) generally have a layout with a front surface provided with a screen in the upper part and a keypad there below. As mobile communication terminals have become increasingly complex, a great number of additional features have been included, giving users an increased number of ways to use their mobile communication terminal. For some of these functions, the traditional layout described earlier is appropriate, but for another group of functions a different layout would be preferable. Prior art terminals have however not provided a terminal with a more flexible layout, though several attempts have been made to allow these terminals to be used in different orientations:
U.S. 2003/0073462 discloses a mobile terminal in which the orientation of the information on the display can be changed, so that the terminal can be used in an upright position and in a horizontal position. The keys of the keypad are however not labeled so that the user has to memorize the function(s) of the individual keys. Memorizing the functions of all the keys causes a steep learning curve, and in turn to a reduced user acceptance of this type of terminal.
WO 02/47365 discloses a mobile communication terminal with a user interface that can be used in a layout with a front surface provided with a screen in the upper part and a keypad there below. The orientation of the information shown on the display can be changed. The keypad as a whole is arranged on a disk that is rotatable relative to the housing of the mobile terminal with wire leads running through the central pivot point connecting the disk to the housing. The terminal can thus be used in different orientations, e.g. upside down with the keypad above the display. The rotatable keypad arrangement is however mechanically complicated and sensitive. Problems with twisting leads have also been observed. This is undesirable since mobile terminals need to be rugged and robust to endure the influences that they are exposed to during mobile use.
Thus, none of the prior art solutions have been quite satisfactory, since either the labels were absent, or the readability of the labels of the keys was difficult when the device is not used in its standard orientation or the means for changing the label orientation were sensitive mechanisms with complex mechanical and/or electromechanical features.
On this background, it is an object of the present invention to provide a mobile communication terminal of the kind referred to initially, with a flexible, robust and user friendly user interface.
This object is achieved in accordance with claim 1 by providing a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising a display for showing information and a keypad including at least one softkey. The function of the softkey is controlled by a controller unit and displayed as a soft label in a predetermined area of said display. The terminal is further provided with means for instructing the controller unit to change the orientation of the soft label.
When using the mobile terminal an orientation other than the standard orientation the readability of the labels is a problem (unless the user is trained to read tests upside down or sideways). This is particularly true for the softkeys since their function can due to their changing nature and contrary to e.g. the alphanumerical hard keys not be memorized. By allowing the orientation of the label in the predetermined area to the changed a better user interface is obtained when the terminal is not in the standard orientation. The orientation of the soft label is changed without changing the position of the predetermined area relative to the at least one softkey so that the any physical proximity there between is maintained.
The controller unit may change the orientation of the soft label in response to a state change of the terminal or a upon a user entered command.
Alternatively, an orientation sensor in the terminal or a manually activated switch can be used to prompt the controller unit to change the orientation of the soft label.
The same orientation changes can be applied to information on the display as to the soft label. Because the soft label should not change place, the layout of the display will change.
The above object is also achieved by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising a display for showing information and a keypad including at least one hard key with a hard label that can be read in at least two different orientations. The present function of the at least one hard key is controlled by a controller unit in dependence of the orientation of the terminal. Means are provided for informing the controller unit of the orientation of the terminal.
The orientation of the information on the display is preferably changed in accordance with the orientation of the terminal.
The combination of a multidirectionally labeled key and a display that can adapt the orientation of the information shown thereon allow the terminal to be used in different orientations.
The above object is also achieved by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising
a display for showing information and a keypad including a plurality of hard keys. The labels of the hard keys include textual and or graphical content relating to the function of the hard key concerned. The label of least one of the hard keys is formed by a hologram on which the textual and/or graphical content can be read in at least two different orientations.
Preferably, the information on the display can be shown in the different orientations in which the hologram label can be read.
The above object is also achieved by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising a display for showing information and a keypad including a plurality of hard keys. The labels of the hard keys include textual and or graphical content relating to the function of the hard key concerned. At least one of the hard keys is formed by an at least partially transparent key body that allows objects under the key to be seen through the top of the key. At a substrate that can move relative to the key is provided with at least two labels. The labels include textual and/or graphical content that can preferably be read in different ordinations. The substrate can be moved relative to the hard key to allow a different one of the at least two labels to be visible through the key.
The different labels can associated with different functions of the key concerned or to different orientations in which the label can be read. Accordingly, a user can slide the substrate to a position in which the desired labels areas are visible.
The substrate may extend under a plurality of keys, so that a group of labels belonging to a plurality of keys can be moved simultaneously. Accordingly, it is possible to have a coherent group of functions for a set of keys visible in one position of the substrate, and another group of functions visible in another position of the substrate.
In one embodiment the labels are arranged on a substrate that can slide linearly, in another embodiment slidable the substrate is rotably arranged.
The above object is also achieved by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising a display and a keypad including at with a plurality of hard keys. The labels of the hard keys include textual and or graphical content relating to the function of the hard key concerned. At least one of the hard keys comprises a lenticular screen with at least two interlaced labels there behind. Each of the at least two labels being visible from a different viewpoint and preferably being readable in a different orientation.
Accordingly, different labels becomes visible from different viewpoints e.g. one label area is visible in the standard orientation and another label area is visible in the upside down orientation.
Preferably, the orientation of the information on the display can be changed to be readable in different orientations of the terminal. A set of keys may be provided with labels of which different areas are visible from different viewpoints.
Accordingly, a group of coherent functions for the set of keys is visible form one viewpoint and another group of coherent functions is visible from another viewpoint.
The above object is also obtained by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising a display and a keypad including a plurality of hard keys. The labels of the hard keys include textual and or graphical content relating to the function of the hard key concerned. At least one of the hard keys is formed by an at least partially transparent key body that allows objects under the key to be seen through the top of the key. A label is arranged under the key on a pair of polarized films that can be moved relative to one another. The textual and/or graphical content of the label can be read in at least two different orientations in dependence of the relative orientation of the polarized films to one another.
Accordingly, the label orientation can be changed. Preferably, a handle or other arrangement is provided to rotate the one film relative to the other.
The above object is also obtained by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising a display and a keypad including a plurality of hard keys arranged in a substantially circular pattern. The labels of the hard keys include textual and or graphical content relating to the function of the hard key concerned. The hard keys are formed by an at least partially transparent key body that allows objects under the key to be seen through the top of the key. The labels of the hard keys being arranged on a rotatable substrate in a substantial circular pattern that matches the circular pattern in which the hard keys are arranged. Preferably, the labels are arranged on the substrate in different groups. Each group being visible through the plurality of keys in a given position of the substrate. The label may be attached to a handle or other mechanism for rotating the substrate, possible in small angular steps.
Accordingly, the user can rotate the substrate until the desired label group is visible. The label groups can relate to different functions and/or different orientations in which the labels can be read
The above object is also obtained by a mobile communication terminal having a user interface comprising display, a confirming key and a rejection key. A function to be confirmed or to be rejected is controlled by a controller unit and displayed in a predetermined area of the display. The terminal also comprises means for instructing the controller unit to change the orientation in which the function is displayed. Accordingly, the confirmation key and the rejection key can be used with the terminal in different orientations, whilst the function to be confirmed or rejected is comfortably readable by a user. The terminal can be provided with an orientation sensor that delivers a signal to the controller unit for automatically selecting the appropriate orientation for the function shown in the display. Accordingly, the user can simply turn the terminal in a desired orientation of use and continue using the confirmation and rejection keys without having any problems in reading the associated function in the display.
The controller unit changes the orientation of the function to be confirmed or to be rejected preferably without changing the position of the predetermined area relative to the confirming key and rejection key.
The controller unit may also change the orientation of the function to be confirmed or to be rejected in response to a state change of the terminal or a upon user entered command.
Further objects, features, advantages and properties of the mobile communication terminal according to the invention will become apparent from the detailed description.
In the following detailed portion of the present description, the invention will be explained in more detail with reference to the exemplary embodiments shown in the drawings, in which
The various features of the invention will now be described with respect to the figures, in which like parts are identified with the same reference numerals.
The pager is provided with an orientation sensor (not shown) that informs a processor unit (not shown) of the present orientation of the pager. When the signal from the orientation sensor indicates that the pager is in an upside down orientation as illustrated in
The PDA is provided with an orientation sensor (not shown) that informs a processor unit (not shown) of the present orientation of the pager. When the signal from the orientation sensor indicates that the pager is in an upside down orientation as illustrated in
According to a preferred embodiment, the keypad 2 has a first group 8 of keys as alphanumeric keys, a confirm key 9″ and a reject key 9′″, a cursor navigation key 10 (scroll up/down/left/right), and on-hook and off-hook keys 12. The present function to be confirmed or rejected is shown as text 22 (the function can alternatively also be shown graphically in the form of e.g. an icon) in separate field 21 in the middle of the lower part of the display 3 near the rejection key 9″ and confirming key 9′″. The present function to be rejected or confirmed depends on the state of the mobile phone, and the previously selected or rejected functions. The removal of an entry from the phonebook is illustrated in
The mobile phone comprises a tilt sensor 20 which determines the direction and magnitude of the rotational displacement relative to vertical using the planetary gravitational field. The sensor preferably measures the rotational changes about two orthogonal axes. The construction of the sensor 20 is not shown but can be of any of well known types such as those operating with accelerometers (taking the gravitational force into accounts when determining acceleration), with encoding disks on a freely rotatable shaft connected to a weight, or of the type that uses sphere provided with an asymmetrical weight that floats in a liquid. Alternatively the tilt sensor 20 could be of the gyroscopic type. Preferably, the sensor is of a miniaturized type, e.g. by using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology (the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a common silicon substrate through micro-fabrication technology). If the mobile phone is provided with a digital camera the signal from the camera can be used to support the signal from an absolute type angular sensor, as described in e.g. PCT application PCT/EP 03/00607, hereby incorporated by reference.
The signal of the tilt sensor 20 is sent to the processor unit 18. The processor unit 18 analyzes the signal from the tilt sensor 20 and determines the orientation of the mobile phone. The function to be selected or rejected can be displayed in four discrete orientations: normal, upside down, 90° clockwise and 90° anti-clockwise. The user will not normally hold the mobile phone perfectly upright, upside down, etc. The processor unit 18 selects therefore the display orientation that best matches the measured orientation of the phone.
The processor unit is preferably programmed to ignore quick changes in measured orientation in order to avoid inadvertent quick repetitive changes in the display origination of the function to be selected or rejected. The function to the selected or rejected can thus always be easily read by a user in any orientation of the mobile phone.
The user may switch off the orientation sensor 20 and control the orientation direction of the function to be selected or rejected via the user interface. This can be advantageous when e.g. traveling in an airplane or train, where the accelerative forces of the moving vehicle could disturb proper operation of the tilt sensor.
The user may also instruct the processor through the user interface to apply a 90° offset to the signal from the orientation sensor to compensate for the users present position. Thus, the orientation of the information in the display is also comfortably readable for a user who is using the terminal while laying on the side.
The mobile phone comprises the same tilt sensor 20 as in the previous embodiment. The processor unit changes the orientation of the softkey labels to match the presently detected orientation of the phone.
With reference to
The mobile phone comprises the same tilt sensor 20 as in the previous embodiments. The processor unit changes the orientation of the softkey labels to match the presently detected orientation of the phone.
The disk 23 may be provided with more than two label sets. The different label sets may relate to a different functionality of the keys, or to a different orientation of the label content. Accordingly, a switch may be connected to the rotary disk to inform the processor unit 18 of the present position of the rotary disk 23, to adapt the functionality of the respective keys 8 to the visible label set. In a phone with user exchangeable covers—as well known in the art—the rotary disk 23 may also be user exchangeable to allow for further label sets to be employed with the phone. Hereto, the disks 23 are provided with a tag (not shown) that is recognized by the phone, so that the processor can be informed of the type of label sets that are present on the disk 23 that is in use. The tag could be magnetic, a transponder chip, or any other conventional identification means suitable for use inside a mobile communication terminal.
A sensor 34 (
Behind the rotary disk 23 another user exchangeable film with a background image may be provided (not shown). This user exchangeable film could be used to change the background color for the key labels or to provide a background image.
In another embodiment the rotary disk 23 is not provided with a handle 25 but is motor driven instead. A substrate motor 35 (
The mobile phone comprises the same tilt sensor 20 as in the previous embodiments. The processor unit 18 changes the orientation of the softkey labels to match the presently detected orientation of the phone.
The slidable substrate 23′ may be provided with more than only two—or more than three—label sets. The different label sets may relate to a different functionality of the keys, or to a different orientation of the label content.
The hologram may be created by any commercially available holographic technology, such as
The film 48 is movable by sliding and/or rotation. When the film 48 is moved relative to the film sections 46 different areas of the printed label 24 become visible, depending on the arrangement of the polarized areas and on the layout of the printed label 24.
The two images relate preferably to the same content in opposite orientations, e.g. upright and upside down. A plurality of adjacent keys 8 may be interconnected by attaching them to a flexible keymat 40 that facilitates ease of insertion upon assembly. Below the key 8 a dome switch 31 is arranged on the PCB 30. This type of arrangement can be used in combination with any of the previously described embodiments.
Although the present invention has been described in detail for purpose of illustration, it is understood that such detail is solely for that purpose, and variations can be made therein by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention.
Thus, while the preferred embodiments of the devices and methods have been described in reference to the environment in which they were developed, they are merely illustrative of the principles of the inventions. Other embodiments and configurations may be devised without departing from the scope of the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||455/566, 455/550.1|
|International Classification||H04M1/247, H04M1/23, H04M1/725, H01H13/70, H04M1/22|
|Cooperative Classification||H04M1/22, H04M1/72519, H04M1/23, H04M1/7258, H04M1/72583, H04M2250/12|
|European Classification||H04M1/23, H04M1/725F, H04M1/725F3|
|Mar 8, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NOKIA CORPORATION, FINLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:STOHR, JOSEF;FRANKE, THOMAS;REEL/FRAME:015043/0298
Effective date: 20031116
|Sep 27, 2010||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Feb 20, 2011||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Apr 12, 2011||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20110220